Have you heard of Daniel Bashta? If not, you’ve probably heard one of his songs. If you have heard of him, then you know what that song is…”Like a Lion”. What you’re getting ready to find out is that this is not another one hit wonder. Today marks the release of his debut album with Integrity Music called, The Sounds of Daniel Bashta.
When you have a moment, go to http://danielbashta.com and read his compelling story. I’m sure you’ll find depth there in this artist.
You’ll also want to go get his album as well.
The Sounds of Daniel Bashta isn’t your average worship album, and that statement is exactly what Daniel wants to hear about his album. He is setting out to bring a fresh, prophetic voice to the Church, and he makes no apologies.The opening track, “Dreamers”, is an appropriate call to worship challenging God’s people to awake and dream big. The other song that I just can’t seem to shake is “Freedom Calling”, which has a raw, gritty drive that doesn’t waste a moment beginning with the line, “It’s time to let my faith arise”, and then continues with lines like, “miracles are coming…"
Like John Mark McMillan’s version of “How He Loves”, Daniel’s version of “Like a Lion” far surpasses any other versions out there. It truly is a message for the church to sing and proclaim. Another immediate song for the church that I’ve used in corporate worship is “Heaven”. It’s a simple, yet powerful ballad for any corporate worship setting.
The other standouts for me were “With Everything”, “It’s Happening”, and “Awakening”.
Daniel was also gracious enough to do a Q&A with me…
Gary: I believe the greatest songs grow on you. “Like a Lion” has definitely grown on me. What’s the story behind that song?
Daniel: Beautiful, I’m really glad you phrased it like that. I think the best stories are those that grow on you, because it means there are new conversations taking place after the first time you have heard it. If a story gave away the plot on the first page it would not be much of a journey. When I write, my mission is to take people on a journey. I’ve been on a personal journey the last few years, challenging my belief in who my God is and in my love/hate relationship with the church as a whole. A few years ago I had a pastor tell me he felt that I was not called to be a worship leader. I think when God has birthed in you a dreamer, pioneer spirit, there will always be dream killers that will try to curse the dream. Around the same time I had a friend tell me that he didn’t know what I was going through, but all he could see was this lion spirit that was caged up. I needed some supernatural healing. I started writing Like a Lion, “My God’s not dead He’s surely alive, He’s living on the inside roaring Like a Lion”. It was a breakthrough anthem for me. The healing process had begun. I started working on the verses and the phrase, “my faith is dead I need a resurrection somehow.” There’s a reason that Jesus said in Matthew 17:20-“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” This was a very honest line for me. There could never be a resurrection unless there was a death and I really felt that that this line would resonate with this generation. I’ve heard so many stories of broken dreams and bitterness coming out of the church. We need the God of restoration to awaken our lifeless steeples. This line was not a statement saying my faith in God is dead, but my faith to believe for the impossible had become desolate. In the bridge it says “come shake the ground with the sounds of revival”. I used plural sounds for a reason. I truly believe with all my heart that this next great awakening will not just be one sound, but it will be the eclectic explosion of the sounds of this generation. I really felt compelled to use the word revival too. Unfortunately that word has become more of a cliché word in our churches. We throw it out there like it’s a normal occurrence and I think that word sums up an image of the old charismatic tent revival where churches would advertise on their billboards revival meetings on this date and time.The heart of this phrase is that God, in all His power, would roar and revive every dead heart and dead things would begin to dance again. It’s an anthem of hope, the roar is alive, and I can see it spreading!
Gary: You’ve been involved in church and worship your whole life. What kind of vision has God given you as a church leader?
Daniel: Wow, I have a buffet of answers for this question.I would say we have become spoiled as a whole.I think you can look back at history and see how every generation has evolved from the last and how every new generation will always push to see how close we can get to the edge. It’s just who we are. The same thing has happened in our worship. 10 years ago to become a wealthy person from writing a worship song for the church was not an easy thing to do. Today it’s not that uncommon. We are all such technological junkies. We love the bright lights, the big screens, the sexy Vegas shows. Somehow, our churches now represent all of these things. It also seems like it’s a popular demand to always be upgrading. Nothing is ever good enough, spoiled. How many intelligent lights must we have, how many HD projectors and LED walls must we have. How many holograms of preachers can we have? Now don’t get me wrong, I am the worst because I really do love all of these things, but my belief is that we love to rely on the glitz and glamour instead of the power and presence of God. We substitute our programs and agendas instead of really allowing the Holy Spirit to be uncontrollable and mess up all of our plans. There are so many incredible gatherings and churches that are learning that this is the key and the truth in seeing a generation unleashed. God is not coming back for a sexy Vegas church, He is returning for a warrior bride, a bride that has been rejected and stained, a bride that is full of broken misfits and dreamers, a bride that was once dead but is now beautiful.My vision for the global church is that we become epicenters of restoration to our communities and see wild, raw transformation spread to every family.I think one of the biggest epidemics right now in the church is lack of true pastors or fathers. There is a dying world searching for their real Jesus in some way. The church needs to wake up and father a generation and launch a movement of sons and daughters that are so creative and full of dreams. I don’t think we need to just be trying to change culture but that we should actually be the leading voice of our culture.
Gary: You’ve got a distinct voice. Who were your musical and vocal influences?
Daniel: My belief is that no artist should just blend in. If you look back at history there has never been a revolution that has happened with a group of people that have adapted to culture. God has put in each of us a unique piece of the puzzle of His heart. We were created to stand out. Having a unique voice or distinct voice is not always the easiest thing to accept because it produces a huge spotlight over you. But for me, anytime I hear or see some form of art that stands out, it captures my attention.If I look back at some of the artists that have shaped me and continue to shape me each of them have such a commanding sound. Keith Green, Kevin Prosch, David Ruis, Martin Smith, Bono. I think the most impacting thing about each of these artists is that their sound continues to spread from one generation to the next. They were/are visionary artists writing songs of Hope that can’t be contained. You can hear the emotion and conviction in each of their voices. Conviction for me is the one thing that will set you apart.
Gary: You’ve recently signed with Integrity. Congratulations! How has the transition been from independent artist to major record label?
Daniel: It’s been quite the transition indeed. Honestly the music industry as a whole is in such chaos. When it comes to record labels, I had a lot of different voices telling me to run as fast as I could away from the sinking Titanic. When we started the process of talking to a few different labels, it was as if they already had the formula developed and they were just try to fit some new ingredient into their old manufactured stencil. The relationship between an artist and label should be like a marriage. For me, an artist should accomplish what God has called them to do regardless of circumstances. Label or not, it should not stop you from pioneering the unknown. I’m really excited and humbled to be a part of the Integrity family. They get the meaning of this. It’s not a dictatorship, it’s a partnership. I believe in their mission and they believe in mine. Together we are charging hell, and seeing heaven invade earth.
Gary: I’ve really enjoyed listening to your new album, “The Sounds of Daniel Bashta”. What kind of effect on the Church do you hope to see from this album?
Daniel: I believe God has given us a very prophetic sound. This is another word that the evangelical world has done such a poor job in displaying the true essence of this word.For me being prophetic means we are speaking undeniable life into dark hopeless places. I love how the Bible talks about when Jesus showed up in a city, he disrupted all forms of normality. My prayer is that when people listen to this project they are taken on a journey and that we stir up a commotion with the spirit behind the songs. My prayer is that when people listen to these songs that something happens suddenly in their lives that dreams come alive again, and that miracles will take place. I believe that dreams were never birthed to just survive; I believe dreams were made to conquer all. During the process of making this record my wife and I were on the most radical adventure of adopting. In the middle of recording the project our son was born and became a Bashta forever. I can still listen back to different tracks and remember where we were on the journey. I pray that this spirit of adoption is translated through different songs and that the story of hope echoes with such fierce passion! I want this record to catapult us as the church to put our worship into motion and see nations shake!
Gary: What are some words of wisdom for those who are writing songs for the local church?
Daniel: Art was never meant to be flawless. For me the most beautiful art is dirty and full of guts. Otherwise I would say it is less art and more of a reusable concoction.I believe that as songwriters we should be prophesying over the church and a generation. I think each songwriter has a specific anointing that they should tap into. For me personally, I don’t think God needs me to write a song saying How Great He is, because one is already being sung around the world. As the ultimate Creator I think He loves when He hears poetry that sounds so different and unique describing Him in ways that only we can do. I think this pure, raw worship attracts Him to show up in unlikely places. Stay true to who God has called you to be. Write songs for your gatherings that will impact your community. Write songs that are the heartbeat for what God wants to do and not what he has already done. Don’t be typical; do not settle for something average. Write art that is full of conviction and not production. Tell the story of redemption with a fresh perspective of the cross. Be a megaphone to shout anthems of hope to the broken world.
Click here to purchase The Sounds of Daniel Bashta today!